LAGOS—Anxiety about the potential danger posed by the continued elusiveness of the alleged mastermind of the Christmas Day bombing in Madalla, Suleija has spurred the security forces to combine efforts at tracing and apprehending him.
Vanguard garthered, yesterday, that men of the State Security Service, SSS, on the trail of Kabiru Umar (a.k.a. Kabiru Sokoto), the dreaded Boko Haram suspect who escaped from Police custody earlier in the week, trailed him to Toto Local Government Area in Nasarawa State. This came even as the Nigeria Police, yesterday, declared him wanted and placed a N50 million ransom on his head.
Investigations by Vanguard revealed that men of the SSS swung into action with a view to helping a sister organization (Police) to track down an alleged killer.
According to a source, “the reason why the SSS is on the trail of the suspect is because an assessment of the situation suggests that in the event that he sneaks back into the area, the consequences may be worse. There is a need for the security agencies to partner effectively and that was what the SSS attempted to do.
“Unfortunately, the SSS could not intercept nor arrest the suspect”. Vanguard was made to understand that the fear today is that the suspect may sneak back and wreck havoc.
Police places N50m as reward
Aftermath of President Goodluck Jonathan’s directive to the Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim to produce the Boko Haram Number 2 man dead or alive, the Nigeria Police force has declared him wanted and placed a N50 million ransom on his head.
In a statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Olusola Amore, the Police noted that Sokoto was wanted in connection with series of bombings and terrorist acts across the Northern parts of the country, especially the Christmas Day bombing of a church in Madalla, near Abuja.
The statement read: “The Police High Command has declared Kabiru Umar (a.k.a. Kabiru Sokoto) wanted in connection with cases of bombing and terrorism across the Northern States of the Federation, especially the Christmas-Day bombing of a Church at Madalla, Niger State which resulted into wanton destruction of lives and property.
“Kabiru Umar who hails from Biu, Borno State, was last known to be residing at Bulletin Quarters, Abaji, FCT. He is aged 28 years, fair in complexion and speaks English, Hausa and Arabic languages fluently. The Nigeria Police has therefore placed a monetary reward of N50 million for anyone who has useful information regarding whereabouts of the suspect or that will lead to his arrest. Such person should please report to the nearest Police Station nationwide”.
Senate orders probe of escape of suspected Xmas Day Bomber
DISTURBED by the escape of the suspected bomber, the Senate yesterday ordered its committee on Police Affairs to immediately commence full investigation of the circumstances that led to the ugly scenario.
The Senator Paulinus Igwe led Committee was given one week to return to the Senate for further discussions and action.
Meanwhile, Senator Pius Akpor Ewherido, has described the story of the disappearance of the suspect as shocking, even as he said that those directly involved in the saga must be severely dealt with to serve as deterrent to others.
Also yesterday, the Senate went into a closed session to discuss as gathered, issues relating to insecurity in the country and the mysterious disappearance of one alleged to be involved in very high profile case of terrorism.
The Senate also agreed to screen Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, President Goodluck Jonathan’s nominee for confirmation as the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the floor of the Senate, the way it did to his predecessor, Mrs Farida Waziri at a date yet to be fixed.
Moving a motion and citing order 42 (2) of the standing rule of the Senate, which deals with matters of urgent public importance, Chairman Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Paulinus Igwe, PDP, Ebonyi Central however sought the leave of the Senate to probe what he described as a shameful escape of this bomber.
“I want to draw the attention of this Senate to the alleged escape of Kabiru Sokoto who allegedly masterminded of the Christmas Day 2011 bombing of St Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State from police custody. I therefore in line with our order 42 (2) rule of this Senate to move a motion on this subject matter on another legislative day, ‘’ he said.
Responding, Senate President David Mark who noted that Igwe had had discussion with him on the issue, stressed that it would be better for the Committee on Police Affairs to begin a full scale investigation into the matter and report back to the Senate within one week, adding, “What he wants is that the Committee on the police Affairs should commence full investigation because of the nature of the matter which borders on security, I will suggest that the Senate mandate the Committee to commence full investigation and report back to us within one week.”
Speaking with Journalists yesterday, Ewherido who is the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Marine Transport stressed that there must have been connivance by some members of the police in charge of guarding the Mr Kabiru Sokoto “otherwise, a suspect of that caliber cannot just escape from police custody.
‘’While I will not support the call in some quarters for the sack of the Inspector General of Police, I suggest that the IGP must go cracking in order to unravel the connivance of some of his men in the saga. We cannot condole acts of indiscipline and indolence in the police force”, he said adding that those found culpable of having hands in the suspect’s escape saga should be brought to book.
It will be recalled that the suspect, a high ranking member of the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, that claimed responsibility for the attack, was arrested at Borno State Governor’s Lodge, Abuja, last Saturday.
The thereafter escaped on Sunday when he was being led in a Toyota Hilux van to his Abaji, FCT residence by about 10 policemen, for a search.
Also recall that the Police had claimed that on citing their vehicle, Abaji youths attacked the policemen and set Sokoto, who was in handcuffs, free and in a bid by security operatives to re arrest Sokoto, they opened fire and a 28-year old HND student was shot dead in the ensuing confusion.
The Police Commissioner, Zakari Biu, who was in charge and sent his men on the assignment was subsequently suspended by the Police High Command on Tuesday.